Colorado Bike Law
Cycling advocates in Colorado are celebrating a new state law that allows cyclists to ride two-abreast on roadways whenever they won't impede traffic.
Daily Record Denver Bureau
DENVER - Cycling advocates are celebrating a new state law that took effect on Friday.
Among its other provisions, the measure allows cyclists to ride two-abreast on roadways whenever they won't impede traffic. It allows cyclists to signal right-hand turns with their right arms. And it allows cy-clists in at least some cases to ride through crosswalks, rather than having to dismount and walk their bike across a roadway when it intersects with a bicycle path.
'We've been working toward this for a decade now,' said Dan Grunig, executive director of Bicycle Colo-rado, a Denver-based cycling advocacy organization.
The newly updated law reflects practices and laws in other states and is especially significant here because bicycle tours are becoming an important part of Colorado's economy, Grunig said.
Boulder Democratic Sen. Ron Tupa, who carried House Bill 1218 in the Senate, said last spring that the measure represents the most significant revisions to Colorado's bicycle-safety rules in the past 20 years and clarifies cyclists' rights and responsibilities on roads and pathways.
A San Jose, Calif., man William Bliss, 69, died on June 24 while riding his bicycle northbound on Colo. 67 after being hit by a vehicle driven by Doug Havens, an off-duty police officer who reportedly didn't see Havens traveling down the middle of the road.
'Current laws in Colorado concerning bicycle use on roadways are not protecting bicyclists or road users,' Tupa said in a statement about the bill while it was pending in the Senate.
'This measure is a common-sense update of our traffic laws, which would help protect the health and safety of the thousands of bicyclists in the state,' Tupa said.
House Bill 1218 was introduced in the House by then-Rep. Greg Brophy, a Wray Republican who himself is an avid cycling enthusiast. Signed into law by Gov. Bill Owens in June, the measure was approved by a 41-21 House vote and a 27-6 Senate vote.
Under the new bicycle-safety law that took effect Friday:
- Cyclists can ride two-abreast, rather than single-file, on roadways whenever the side-by-side cyclists 'will not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.'
Previous state law only allowed such side-by-side cycling when there were no motor vehicles less than 300 feet behind the cyclists, and when the cyclists could see 300 feet to their front and rear.
- Cyclists, which previously had to dismount and walk their bicycles through crosswalks when traveling bike paths or sidewalks crossing roadways, can now ride their bikes on the crosswalk - as long as there are no local ordinances requiring the cyclist to dismount, and as long as riding in the crosswalk is done 'in a manner that's safe for pedestrians.'
- Cyclists now can use an extended right arm to signal an upcoming right turn. Previously, cyclists had to use a bent left arm to signal a right turn.
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